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My siblings and I began belting out our favorite Commie song when we were six or so. I felt very sophisticated about Harry as I turned eight, for by then I understood that the song was something of an inside joke – and I was able to sort of get the joke on its most elementary level. As well, my brothers and I were big hams, and the roars of laughter and applause that greeted our renditions of Harry would have kept us singing all night if we had not been ordered to bed at what we considered to be an outrageously early hour.
THE BALLAD OF HARRY POLLITT
Harry Pollitt was a workman, one of Lenin’s lads
But he was fouly murdered by those counter-revolutionary cads.
So Harry went to heaven, he reached the Gates with ease,
Said, “May I talk with Comrade God? I’m Harry Pollitt please.”
“Who are you‘? said Saint Peter, “Are you humble and contrite?”
“I’m a friend of Lady Astors.” “Well, OK. that’s quite alright. “
They put Harry in the choir, but the hymns he did not like
So he organized the angels and he led them out on strike
One day when God was walking round heaven to meditate,
Who should he see but Harry chalking slogans on the gate?
They brought him up for trial before the Holy Ghost
For spreading disaffection amongst the heavenly host.
The verdict it was guilty, Harry said “Oh, well’
He tucked his nightie round his knees and he drifted down to Hell
Seven long years have passed, Harry’s doing swell:
They just made him First People’s Commissar of Soviet Hell.
Well the moral of this story is an easy one to tell:
If you want to be a Bolshevik, you’ll have to go to Hell
You’ll have to go to Hell, you’ll have to go to Hell!
If you want to be a Bolshevik, you’ll have to go to Hell.
My father painted the entire chimney of this woolen mill – all by himself
This world that’s owned by parasites is ours and ours alone
It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own.
In our hands we hold a power greater than their hoarded gold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old.
_From Solidarity Forever_